- UNESCO-IHP releases final report of the 19th session of the Intergovernmental Council
- UNESCO appoints Chair in Hydrological Change & Water Resources at RWTH Aachen University
- IHP Ecohydrology Program Launches Demo Projects
- Considering cultural dimensions of water and groundwater management: the qanats as an example: a colloquium on 9 December 2010
- UNESCO holds workshop on rethinking dam operations
- UNESCO to host "The Future of Urban Water Solutions for Livable and Resilient Cities"
Featured International Events
- 4th International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments
- 2011 NGWA Ground Water Summit and 2011 Ground Water Protection Council Spring Meeting
- XXV IUGG General Assembly - Earth on the Edge: Science for a Sustainable Planet
- Fourth IWA Specialty Conference on Natural Organic Matter: From Source to Tap and Beyond
Did you know?
Facts and figures about climate change and water
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UNESCO-IHP releases final report of the 19th session of the Intergovernmental Council
Between 5 to 9 July 2010, the 19th session of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The session was widely attended, including by the 36 Member States that make up the Intergovernmental Council and, as observers, 40 other delegations from Member States, 10 governmental and non-governmental organizations, 5 U.N. organizations as well as 12 of UNESCO’s Category I and II water-related centres.
UNESCO appoints Chair in Hydrological Change & Water Resources at RWTH Aachen University
On 22 November 2010, UNESCO’s Section for International Cooperation in Higher Education appointed Dr.-Ing. Heribert Nacken of the RWTH Aachen University as the Chair in Hydrological Change & Water Resources.
Dr.-Ing. Nacken is the Director of the Institute of Engineering Hydrology at RWTH Aachen University, which focuses on rule based neuro-fuzzy rainfall-runoff modeling of dynamic systems.
The goal of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chair Programme is to advance training and programme development in all of UNESCO’s fields of competence by building university networks and encouraging inter-university cooperation through the transfer of knowledge across borders. With the inclusion of Dr.-Ing. Nacken, UNESCO now has 24 Chairs that are related to water.
UNESCO Water Chairs | UNITWIN/UNESCO Programme
IHP Ecohydrology Program Launches Demo Projects
UNESCO’s Ecohydrology Programme (EHP) launches over 30 demonstration projects, which have been evaluated by the EHP demo projects committee. These projects are focused on an integrated understanding of biological and hydrological processes at a catchment scale in order to create a scientific basis for a socially acceptable, cost-effective and systemic approach to the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
These projects will help achieve IHP-VII areas:
- Advance the integration of social, ecological and hydrological research
- Generate outcomes that enable the development of effective policies and practices.
The classification criteria developed by the evaluation committee and distribution of projects is given below:
Global Reference Projects
Show best practice in EH principles (dual regulation, integration) and serve as a model for other projects. (Portugal, Poland (2)) 3 total
Are implementing EH principles and involved with stakeholders in project management. (Germany, China, Kenya, Italy, Malaysia) 5 total
Well-developed plans conforming to the EH principles that are beginning to be implemented. (Philippines, Australia (3), Micronesia, China (4), Sweden, Indonesia, Greece, Costa Rica, El Salvador) 14 total
Further work is required to develop plans and activities in an integrated way to support EH principles. (Bangladesh, Bahamas, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Philippines, Spain, Croatia) 9 total
Further Information: Professor Shahbaz Khan, Global Coordinator Ecohydrology Program; Chief, Water and Sustainable Development Section.
Theme 3 of IHP-VII: Ecohydrology for sustainability
Considering cultural dimensions of water and groundwater management: the qanats as an example: a colloquium on 9 December 2010
Under the title "A day on water and culture — Considering cultural dimensions of water and groundwater management: the qanats as an example", UNESCO-IHP and the French Water Academy are organizing a colloquium on 9 December 2010 at the UNESCO House, in Room XI. In follow-up to the UNESCO International Conference on Transboundary Aquifers: Challenges and New Directions (ISARM2010), nine international experts and researchers from Algeria, Egypt, France, Iran and The Netherlands will be presenting cultural aspects of the perception, use and management of surface water and groundwater and discuss their most recent findings with the public. The issues range from water fears and enjoyment to the concrete consideration of cultural dimensions of water in local management schemes.
Five presentations will focus on the use and rehabilitation of qanats or foggara. These groundwater collecting and conveying systems are based on techniques, which are more than 4000 years old, but can be of great importance for contemporary communities in arid and semi-arid regions. UNESCO recently completed a successful qanats rehabilitation project in Iraq.
Participation is free, but you are requested to register
The programme of the "Day on water and culture"
UNESCO holds workshop on rethinking dam operations
At the UNESCO-sponsored international workshop on "Challenges and Solutions for Planning and Operating Dams for Optimised Benefits" held in Paris from 26-28 October 2010, participants generated a number of recommendations for accelerating progress toward sustainable dam planning and operations. The presented papers and further deliberations during the workshop concluded that new approaches for dam planning and operations that optimize benefits across a range of resources and values are required to achieve more sustainable dam operations. These solutions must occur at the scale of systems because dams are only one element of larger water management systems. There are examples from around the world where governments, dam operators, scientists and other stakeholders have identified or implemented more sustainable and innovative approaches for dam planning and operations and where the benefits of alternative dam operations have been evaluated. Examples of innovations of optimizing dam operations include:
- In several countries changes to the operation of dams has been prompted by the re-allocation of water from consumptive to environmental uses.
- In the United States an ongoing effort known as the Sustainable Rivers Project is changing operations at US Army Corps of Engineers' dams; the project currently involves 29 dams in eight river systems as demonstration sites for national implementation.
- In the Yangtze River, China, a proposal is being advanced that proposes to move flood-risk management out of hydropower reservoirs and to invest a portion of the consequent increased revenue from generating hydropower from the additional store water into flood-risk management on the floodplain and ecosystem restoration and conservation.
- In South Africa, the Berg River Project is the first large in-stream dam that was designed according to international best practice standards, such that it can release both low and high flows that will coincide as closely as possible with natural inflows and natural flood events.
- In Australia, a series of trial variable flow releases from Dartmouth Dam in the Murray-Darling Basin implemented and monitored between 2001 and 2008 demonstrate that it is possible to reduce the negative impacts of transferring consumptive water between reservoirs by altering established dam operation practices. The results from these trials were used to develop new interim operating guidelines for Dartmouth Dam.
These examples demonstrate that more sustainable approaches for dam planning and operations are possible and require close collaboration between participating organisations and stakeholders. To achieve sustainable river management at global scales will require considerably more investment in trials and demonstration sites that can illustrate new approaches, opportunities and solutions.
This workshop was coordinated by Robyn Watts (Charles Sturt University, Australia), Brian Richter (The Nature Conservancy) and Shahbaz Khan (UNESCO IHP).
For further information contact Shahbaz Khan
UNESCO to host "The Future of Urban Water Solutions for Livable and Resilient Cities"
UNESCO will host "The Future of Urban Water Solutions for Livable and Resilient Cities" on 24-26 January 2011 in Paris. The aim of this conference is to share knowledge on recent advances in urban water management, and to catalyse change towards more livable and resilient cities – The "City of the Future".
Increasing global change pressures, escalating costs and other risks inherent to conventional urban water management are causing cities to face ever increasing difficulties in efficiently managing scarcer and less reliable water resources. In order to meet these challenges there is a need for a paradigm shift in water management. Over the past 5 years major international initiatives such as the SWITCH project, UNESCO IHP's Urban Water Programme and IWA's Cities of the Future Programme, have brought together a global consortium from the fields of academic, urban planning, water utility and consulting interests.
Themes of the conference will include:
- Decision Support Tools
- Natural Systems for Treatment
- Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
- Water Resource Recovery and Reuse
Featured International Events
4th International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments
5-8 December 2010: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2011 NGWA Ground Water Summit and 2011 Ground Water Protection Council Spring Meeting
1-5 May 2011: Baltimore, MD, USA
XXV IUGG General Assembly - Earth on the Edge: Science for a Sustainable Planet
28 June – 7 July 2011: Melbourne, Australia
Fourth IWA Specialty Conference on Natural Organic Matter: From Source to Tap and Beyond
27-29 July 2011: Costa Mesa, CA, USA
Access a complete list of water events around the world
Did you know...? Facts and figures about climate change and water
- There is evidence that the global climate is changing.
- Water is the primary medium through which climate change impacts the earth’s ecosystem and people.
- Climate change is the fundamental driver of change in the world’s water resources and adds additional stress through its effects on other externalities.
- Human activities affect demand on the world’s water supply, which in turn, impact on climate change.
- Water resource management impacts almost all aspects of the economy, in particular, health, food production and security, domestic water supply and sanitation, energy, industry and environmental sustainability.
- Climate variability, water resource management and economic development are intricately linked.
- Vulnerability to natural disasters affecting the water supply hampers economic performance and undermines poverty reduction goals and achievement of the MDGs.
The section "Did You Know…?" is taken from the United Nations World Water Assessment (WWAP) Special Report "Climate Change and Water: An overview from the World Water Development Report 3: Water in a Changing World".
UNESCO's Water Family consists of the following:
- International Hydrological Programme
- World Water Assessment Programme
- UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
- Water-related Institutes and Centres under the Auspices of UNESCO
- UNESCO Water-related Chairs
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